The latest American Idol elimination wasn't one of the season's more shocking ones — and especially when it came down to Matt Giraud vs. Michael Sarver, it makes sense that our oil rig worker would be the one to go. Today, Sarver hopped on the phone with reporters to talk about singing through illness, the kind of album he hopes to record, and his goofy basketball games with Anoop and Danny. He said he'll be leaving the oil rig and working hard on pursuing a music career, but he also sounded happy to be headed home to his family. Here are highlights:
- On what he showed America about his musical potential: "I really do actually feel like I showed that, No. 1, I'm not as country as most people thought, and No. 2, there's a lot of soul in me. It doesn't matter if you mix soul with rock, pop, or R&B, there's soul. . . . I never give less than 110 percent when I'm performing, and I believe that I showed that."
- On whether he thought the judges might save him: "I actually didn't think they would save me. I really appreciate the fact that they considered it based on my performance the second night and how they complimented me. . . . But I felt like it wasn't going to happen, mostly because of Simon's previous comments the night before of feeling I couldn't really win the show."
- On his reaction to Simon saying he couldn't win: "You now, it didn't really tick me off nor did it insult me, but it did kind of make me giggle because he knows better than that. We all didn't get there by mistake . . . I would not have been surprised if I'd gone home with the guys to the mansion and been back next week."
- On singing "Ain't Too Proud to Beg": "I saw that song coming weeks ago when I knew Motown week was gonna happen. I had that song in my head from the beginning. I'm very proud of my decision to sing that song. . . . I was very disappointed in the fact that certain elements of my health really got in the way of me giving the song what I believed it deserved, but no doubt I'm proud of the decision, and even if my voice wasn't 100 percent my heart was."
For Sarver's thoughts on reuniting with his family and meeting Smokey Robinson,
- On being away from his daughter: "I think McKenna's outlook on it is, she's excited about seeing her daddy on TV, but the one thing that a three-and-a-half-year-old-little girl knows is that I'm not home . . . I hear she replayed the DVR all the time."
- On telling his wife he'd been eliminated: "The first thing that I remember saying was, 'Well, I'm coming home.' I think we're both collectively excited about that. In my wife's view, she would have been 110 percent behind me as long as I was here, but now that I am off the show we're excited [to be together again]."
- On getting advice from Smokey Robinson: "That was one of the classiest experiences of my life. For a man of that caliber to walk into the room and instead of shaking your hand to wrap his arms around you . . . he was a class act. He encouraged us in ways we'll never forget."
- On the positive side of going home: "I got to sing on the same exact stage on the same exact night as Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, and Joss Stone. Those guys are no joke!"
Photos courtesy of Fox